Top Beaches to Explore in Guanacaste

Costa Rica is famous for many well-deserved reasons that have put it on the world stage. One of them is the array of beautiful beaches that embrace its Caribbean and Pacific Coasts.  Travelers flock to Costa Rica to enjoy them, especially to the northern province of Guanacaste where the beaches are really beautiful. There are many to choose from, so let’s check out the top beaches to explore in Guanacaste.

Guanacaste covers much of the Nicoya Peninsula and is rich in culture, is home to one of the last tropical dry forests in the world and boasts vast savannas dotted with cattle and agricultural land.  It is also home to the newly renamed Guanacaste International Airport which makes getting to the best beaches in Guanacaste easy and has a fantastic variety of places to stay in Costa Rica near the beach.

Papagayo Golden Palms Hotel is a beachfront hotel in Guanacaste on the beautiful Playa Panama, located in the picturesque Gulf of Papagayo.  Thanks to its privileged position, guests can explore a number of the top beaches in Guanacaste and enjoy their unique beauty and beach vibe.

Let´s check out the top beaches to explore in Guanacaste:

Playa Panama

Nestled into the Gulf of Papagayo, Playa Panama truly deserves to be on the best beaches in Costa Rica list.  This beautiful, secluded beach is also where Papagayo Golden Palms Hotels is located and it is one of the best beachfront hotels in Guanacaste and Costa Rica. It´s fortunate position, just steps from Playa Panama and its premium services are a fusion of the very best of Costa Rican beaches and hospitality.

Playa Panama offers the perfect conditions for a relaxing day at the beach with its long stretch of light-colored sand, easy-going waves, and palm trees to retire and sit under after some time in the tropical sun.   This is the best beach for families and couples to enjoy its natural beauty, uninterrupted views of the Gulf of Papagayo and a day of tranquility or connection with the water exploring on a kayak or SUP that Papagayo Golden Palms has available for rental during your stay.

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa translates to Beautiful Beach and its pretty name is well deserved.  It sits between Playas de Coco and Panama Beach, so it is easily accessible if you are staying at the oceanfront beach of Papagayo Golden Palms Hotel and want to explore the best beaches of Guanacaste.

This light-sanded beach is a favorite for swimmers with its soft waves and views of the Papagayo Peninsula and let’s remember the refreshing, tropical water that is inviting after a stroll down this well-sized stretch of beach.   It is also incredibly accessible making it a popular beach to visit, especially during the high season thanks to the number of places to stay at the beach there.

El Coco

El Coco beach is surely one of the best beaches in Costa Rica with a wide range of places to stay by the beach in Guanacaste, but also one of the oldest and best known. Located in the Gulf of Papagayo, El Coco is the gateway to great beaches, water sports and activities and a wide range of beachfront hotels in Guanacaste.  Available adventure-filled tours include surfing, fishing, catamaran and boat rides and scuba diving.

Just 20 minutes from the Guanacaste International Airport and 10 minutes from Papagayo Golden Palms, Playas del Coco has gone from a small, sleepy fishing village to one of Costa Rica´s and Guanacaste’s principal tourist centers.  Restaurants, bars, souvenir shops and a variety of places to stay by the beach is a favorite for the locals and those looking for a lively nightlife.

Enjoy a walk along the main strip and feel the the bustle of this lively beach before retreating to the calm and serenity of Papagayo Golden Palms. 

The Guanacaste coastline is filled with top beaches to visit with the advantage that Costa Rica is a small country, so you are never too far away to make a day trip to see other beaches and enjoy their unique beauty. 

For the adventurous at heart or those wishing to explore Guanacaste and all it has to offer, here are some more top beaches to visit in Guanacaste farther down the coast.

Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo is a true favorite for beach lovers, surfers, foodies, and adventurers.  This once sleepy beach town is now a thriving center of restaurants, bars, hotels, adventure activities, picture-perfect sunsets and of course, the fantastic beaches that surround the town. 

Tamarindo is easily accessible and its good surf waves, white sand beaches and fun close-to-nature adventure activities and active nightlife are the main reasons that Tamarindo is one of the best beaches in Guanacaste especially for young travelers that enjoy the party scene.

From Papagayo Golden Palms, you are only about an hour and a half away so you can catch some great waves, walk through the town, and do some shopping in the great boutique stores and be back at Playa Panama for dinner and the calm and tranquility it exhales.


Just north of Tamarindo Beach, you will find another one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica, Flamingo.  Fine white sand, turquoise-blue water with fun waves are just some of the reasons that Flamingo Beach is so popular with beach-lovers although slightly off the main roads of Guanacaste and without much access to shade.

Flamingo is home to a marina with excellent sport fishing and ocean-going excursions including scuba diving like Playas de Coco.   It is well worth a visit for those that enjoy a beach with some fun body-surfing waves and that is walkable from one end to the other.   All this means that it is a popular beach with lots of activity and visitors during certain times of the year.


Nosara is located further south down the Nicoya Peninsula from Tamarindo Beach, and it has a whole different vibe and energy from the northern Guanacaste beach towns.   Nosara is actually the combination of beaches and their towns including Guiones, Garza, Pelada and Nosara although Guiones is the best beach for surfing.  Ostional Beach is best known for the incredible amount of sea turtles that come up onto the beach during the spawning season.  This is a sight to see!

Nosara is most popular for its yoga retreats, surf culture and upmarket homes up in the mountains that boast amazing views of the coast. If you decide to see the sea turtles, it involves an early rise and a scenic two-hour drive some of it on a dirt road.


Montezuma lies on the far southern coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula.  This quaint little seaside town is unique in many ways.  The town is perched on the rainforest-laden hillside that unites with the beaches that dot the rocky coastline.  This small town is for bohemians, artists, nature lovers and those looking for alternative lifestyles.

This secluded and off-the-beaten-track town has number of small, beachfront hotels some of thees of Costa Rica immersed in lush, tropical vegetation and wedged between the ocean and the mountainside which also hides some fantastic waterfalls.   Montezuma has a unique vibe that attracts backpackers, surfers and yogis which makes it colorful.

When you stay at Papagayo Golden Palms, you are just a short drive from many of the best beaches in Costa Rica with one just steps from your spacious, tropically inspired suites.  Guanacaste and the Gulf of Papagayo boast a number of top beaches in Costa Rica and the best oceanfront places to stay.  Come and enjoy the beauty of its beaches during your time at Papagayo Golden Palms.  It is perfect for some amazing, best beach-hopping!  

Visit the website and reserve online to receive instant confirmation of your vacation on one of the best beaches in Guanacaste!  We look forward to seeing you and showing you the best of Guanacaste.

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